Commission in Financial Services

Banking, insurance, securities and investment funds, financial markets infrastructure, retail financial services, and payment systems form a group of different policy areas, on which consistency and coherency is ensured by an overarching policy in the financial services and markets.

In the period 1999 to 2005, this overarching policy was delivered in the framework of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP). The Commission still continues to regularly keep a close check on the work and progress made towards the implementation of the FSAP. For example, making twice-monthly updates to its FSAP transposition is one of the methods for monitoring.

Efforts are also ongoing for coordinating the initiatives driven by the FSAP, including the restructured financial services committee architecture (Lamfalussy approach). The Commission's objectives in financial services policy for the period to 2010 were mentioned in the White Paper on Financial Services 2005-2010. This White Paper was published by the commission in December 2005.

An empirical indicator-based analysis is published by the commission on a yearly basis and this is employed for the measurement of the progress of financial integration in the European Union (Financial Integration Monitor). This analysis aids in informing the policy debate by the identification of the extent to which integration is getting translated into enhanced competition and increased efficiency of EU financial markets. This analysis also seeks to look and check different ways for the transmission of financial instability across borders, so as to have a direct impact on the need to adapt EU prudential safeguards.

The commission puts special focus on the forward movement of the regulatory or other dialogues with the EU's main trading partners, which includes the United States (in the context of the EU-US Financial Market Dialogue) and Japan and also the emerging financial services markets in China, India, Russia, and elsewhere.

Financial services: Commission welcomes new US proposals allowing easier deregistration from capital markets

The European Commission has appreciated the new rules outlined by the United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These rules are supposed to make the life much easier for non-US companies listed on US capital markets to deregister themselves from those markets at a time of their choosing, subject to the condition that certain criteria have been fulfilled.

As per the Commission, the new rules, which are based on a comparison of the company's trading volume on the American market and on its primary market, can largely resolve issues concerning the already existing rules, which are based on the number of US investors and are considered by EU companies to be overly restrictive. On the same ground, the Commission also asks SEC to ensure that its revised proposal is easily accepted along various groups.

The Commission has forwarded these views and some additional technical comments, in a separate letter to the SEC. This letter was issued in response to its call for comments on the proposed rules. EU Member States and European issuers associations are also in the list of groups supporting the Commission's response.

Charlie McCreevy, the Internal Market and Services Commissioner, predicted SEC's new approach as practical and feasible. In his opinion, EU companies are expected to have a natural propensity to enter US capital markets and stay there, provided the conditions that the rules on leaving those markets are made less restrictive. The Commissioner also stressed that this represents actual progress and clearly depicts that the EU-US Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue is supposed to create a sizeable difference in addressing transatlantic financial issues.

Financial services: Commission presents measures to improve regulation of banking, insurance and investment funds

A package of seven measures and a proposal for a Directive and six Commission Decisions was launched by the European Commission. The package was initialized to allow the EU to respond to the developments in the financial sector in an aggressive manner.

A modern and streamlined decision-making structure is supposed to be created by the package. This structure is meant for the improvement of financial services with the aim of improved regulatory and supervisory co-operation. The package launched by the Commission is expected to extend the committee structure to banking, insurance, and investment funds.

It is also expected that if the package is implemented, the measures will generate the actual benefits by allowing detailed co-operation between supervisors and a greater level of convergence in daily regulation and supervision.

Statement of European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, in the New Rule on Deregistration adopted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during its Open Meeting in Washington

The statement issued by the European Commissioner stressed the importance of solution of the deregistration issue as a significant landmark in the Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue between the EU and the US.

In his opinion, the new rule is expected to make it much easier for EU companies listed on US capital markets to terminate their reporting to the Commission and leave if their organization decides to do so.